The TechDraw Workbench is used to produce basic technical drawings from 3D models created with another workbench such as Part, PartDesign, or Arch, or imported from other applications. Each drawing is a Page, which can contain various Views of drawable objects such as Part::Features, PartDesign::Bodies, App::Part groups, and Document Object groups. The resulting drawings can be used for things like documentation, manufacturing instructions, contracts, permits, etc.
TechDraw was officially included in FreeCAD starting with version 0.17; it is intended to replace the unsupported Drawing Workbench. The Drawing Workbench is still provided in v0.20, but will not be available in future releases (version 1.0 and above). To keep up with TechDraw plans and developments, visit the TechDraw Roadmap.
If your primary goal is the production of complex 2D drawings and DXF files, and you don't need 3D modelling, FreeCAD may not be the right choice for you. You may wish to consider a dedicated software program for technical drafting instead, such as LibreCAD or QCad.
These are tools for creating Page objects.
These are tools for creating View objects.
- Insert View: adds a 2D projection view of an object.
- Insert Projection Group: invokes a dialog to create multiple views of an object from different directions.
- Insert Simple Section View: inserts a cross-section view of an existing view.
- Insert Detail View: inserts a detail view of a portion of an existing view.
These are tools for changing the stacking order which controls the apparent depth of views on a page.
These are tools to create and manage Clip objects (clipped views).
- Insert Clip Group: inserts a clip group into a page.
- Add View to Clip Group: adds an existing view to a clip group.
- Remove View from Clip Group: removes a view from a clip group.
These are tools to decorate pages or views:
- Hatch Face using Image File: applies a hatch pattern from a file to a face.
- Apply Geometric Hatch to Face: applies a hatch pattern to a face using an Autodesk PAT specification.
- Turn View Frames On/Off: turns on/off frames and labels surrounding a view.
These are tools for creating and working with Dimension objects.
Linear dimensions can be based on two points, on one line, or on two lines.
- Insert Length Dimension: adds a length dimension.
- Insert Horizontal Dimension: adds a horizontal length dimension.
- Insert Vertical Dimension: adds a vertical length dimension.
- Insert Radius Dimension: adds a radius dimension to a circle or circular arc.
- Insert Diameter Dimension: adds a diameter dimension to a circle or a circular arc.
- Insert Angle Dimension: adds an angle dimension between two straight edges.
- Insert 3-Point Angle Dimension: adds an angle dimension using three vertices.
- Link Dimension to 3D Geometry: links an existing dimension to the 3D geometry.
The annotation tools are for "marking up" a drawing with additional information.
- Insert Annotation: adds a plain text block as annotation.
- Insert Rich Text Annotation: adds an rich text block as annotation to a leaderline or a view. introduced in version 0.19
- Add Cosmetic Line Through 2 points: adds a cosmetic line connecting 2 vertices. introduced in version 0.19
- Add Welding Information to Leader: adds welding specifications to an existing leaderline. introduced in version 0.19
These are tools to improve your TechDraw drawings.
Attributes and modifications
- Select Line Attributes, Cascade Spacing and Delta Distance: selects the attributes (style, width and color) for new cosmetic lines and centerlines, and specifies the cascade spacing and delta distance. introduced in version 0.20
- Change Line Attributes: changes the attributes (style, width and color) of cosmetic lines and centerlines. introduced in version 0.20
- Position Section View: orthogonally aligns a section view with its source view. introduced in version 0.20
- Calculate the area of selected faces: calculates the area of selected faces and inserts an area annotation. introduced in version 0.20
- Customize format label: customizes the formatting of a balloon text or dimension text. GD&T symbols and other special character can be added. introduced in version 0.20
Centerlines and threading
- Add Cosmetic Intersection Vertex(es): adds cosmetic vertex(es) at the intersection(s) of selected edges. introduced in version 0.20
These are tools for exporting pages to other applications.
- Line Groups: to control the appearance of various types of lines.
- Templates: the default templates defined for the drawing pages.
- Hatching: explanation of the different hatching techniques.
- Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing: explanation on how to achieve geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.
- Preferences: preferences for the default values of the drawing page such as projection angle, colors, text sizes, and line styles.
- TechDraw drawings and its API are not interchangeable with the Drawing Workbench and its API. It is possible to convert Drawing Pages to TechDraw Pages using a Python script (
- It is possible to have both TechDraw and Drawing Pages in the same FreeCAD document, as each page is completely independent from each other.
- There are minor differences in specifying editable texts in SVG templates compared to the Drawing module. In TechDraw the scaling of the SVG document affects the position of the editable text fields. See the forum discussion TechDraw templates scale for more details.
- Do not cut, copy and paste TechDraw objects in the Tree view as this generally does not work out well.
- Do not drag TechDraw objects in the Tree view with the mouse.
- Basic TechDraw Tutorial: introduction to creating drawings with the TechDraw Workbench.
- Creating a new template: instructions to create a new page template in Inkscape for using with the TechDraw Workbench.
- TechDraw TemplateGenerator: instructions to create a macro for generating a basic template.
- A "few" added lines of code result in a tool like the Macro TemplateHelper.
- Measurement Of Angles On Holes: instructions for adding centerlines and subsequent angle representations on holes.
- Miscellaneous: instructions for different settings like center marks, etc.
- TechDraw Pitch Circle Tutorial: instructions for adding a pitch circle.
Video tutorials by sliptonic
- TechDraw Workbench Part 1 (Basics), Part 2 (Dimensions), Part 3 (Multiview)
- TechDraw Workbench Part 4 (Section and Detail), Part 5 (Customizing Templates)